When the Thunder passed on every trade offer that had come along by Thursday’s deadline, the decision left open the door for Oklahoma City to go on some kind of spree this summer. Whether general manager Sam Presti turns this off-season into his personal playground won’t be known until he begins making moves during the June draft. But it was Presti’s ability to maintain the option that explained why he stayed on the sidelines Thursday. Most of this year’s deals were done by teams seeking to shed salary. Washington, New York, Sacramento, Chicago and Utah all gave away talent solely to trim their payrolls. The Thunder closed that chapter last summer. Nearly every team that made basketball-based decisions intended to improve their rosters — Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Portland, Memphis and Charlotte — did so only by adding millions of dollars to their bottom line. The Cavs now owe Antawn Jamison $28.4 million over the next two seasons. The Mavs are responsible for Caron Butler’s remaining $10.5 million in 2010-11. And the Rockets are now on the hook for the three years, $36 million left on Kevin Martin’s deal. But by standing pat, the Thunder preserved what could be at least $12 million in salary cap space this summer, depending on where the cap figure comes in at when the July moratorium is lifted. That money could be used to lure free agents or be applied toward improving the roster via trades. "This summer, with all those free agents, it’s going to be a big summer for some guys,” said Kevin Durant. "We’ll see how we upgrade our team. I’ve got all the faith in Sam. He’s going to make the right move for us.” It’s important to keep in mind that the Thunder’s cap space would roll over into next season should the Thunder decide to not use it this summer. That then could allow OKC to possibly pluck another mid-season steal like it did this year with Eric Maynor. The Thunder also remained roughly $1.8 million under the salary cap for this season. It’s a small amount that could come in handy during the draft should Oklahoma City look to acquire a low-salaried player without being required to match salaries. Keeping its stable of draft picks was another benefit to OKC not pulling the trigger on a deal that might have included a pick. The Thunder has two first-round selections — its own and Phoenix’s — and could have three second-round picks but would be required to send its own to Dallas as part of the Byron Mullens-Rodrique Beaubois trade if the playoffs become a reality in OKC. Those picks also could be useful in trade opportunities during the draft. Another fact that should remain at the center of everyone’s attention is the upcoming contract extensions for Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, who can begin negotiations on July 1. "I envision myself being here,” Durant said Thursday. And by holding off on moves, the Thunder continued to construct its cap to see to it that its star remains as the cornerstone. Adding any contract of more than two seasons would have spilled over into the beginning of Durant and Green’s first-year extensions. A third year would have conflicted with Russell Westbrook’s bump in 2012-13 and so on and so forth with current rookies James Harden and Serge Ibaka. No other team has as much cap space set aside for its current core. It’s why the thrill of a deadline-day deal dodged Oklahoma City this year and why that excitement could be gone for the foreseeable future.